Purim, a Jewish Celebration

The message of Purim

In my understanding Purim celebrates two things: overcoming and gratitude.  I look at the Bible as a source of inspiration the teachings behind the stories. The stories in the Bible happened so long ago that nobody knows how much of it had actually happened. 

In Unity, we interpret the stories and take the learnings from them.

Esther’s story for me is about knowing that God is always at work: as we face our challenges, stand up for oneself in the face of dire circumstances, and overcome inner challenges, we can start seeing God’s ever present support. Finally, we can move into gratitude for the support we have received.

How to use celebrating Purim for your benefit?

Similar to celebrations from other traditions, we can simply take the time to contemplate on the messages and teachings, we can spend some time in the silence to become aware of inner errors, ‘fight them’ which means let go of them, and become grateful for triumphing over our own challenges. 

Most of all however, we can use the time to become consciously aware of God’s Presence in our life, the way we are supported from behind the scenes; and we can express our gratitude to the Divine Presence for His never ceasing Love and Care for us. 

What am I going to do?

I will spend the evening to meditate and contemplate on areas of my life where I feel unsupported by God, where I feel I am being let down and left to my own divides. I will also look at where I am in error, why I feel this way. Finally, I will spend the day to observe the ‘behind the scene’  support God provides me with. Finally, I will move into Prayer on Gratitude for all the ‘hidden’ support and guidance I receive that I am be oblivious of. 

What is Purim?

Shushan Purim is a unique day in the cycle of Jewish holidays. Purim is the only holiday whose date depends on where you happen to celebrate it. For most of the world, Purim occurs on the 14th of Adar. However, if you happen to reside in Jerusalem or the city of Shushan (where the story of Purim took place), or any walled city, Purim is on the 15th of Adar. Therefore, the observance is called “Shushan Purim.”

Queen Esther then instituted the holiday of Purim for the day after the Jews were permitted to defend themselves. It is an important distinction for the holiday. Purim does not celebrate a military triumph. It celebrates the day of “rejoicing and feasting” that followed. That is why Purim is on the fourteenth day of Adar, not the thirteenth.

We must be careful to be clear about why we are celebrating.
Real joy is not about triumphalism. We do not rejoice over the death of Haman. Rather, our best celebrations are always about gratitude. We wait a day after our temporal victory and rejoice. We celebrate by laying down our weapons and taking a bag of cookies over to our neighbors’ homes.

That is something to be joyful about.


Read the story in the Bible
Book of Esther HERE

Book of Esther